LogoWatch The Vulture laid bare

This symbol, this shield, this inspiring icon

Regulars who have been following our LogoWatch campaign - a crusade to expose to ridicule the worst excesses of corporate makeovers, will recall that we challenged Reg readers to come up with a preposterous analysis of our own company identity. We should have known better.

After some consideration - and a few beer-fuelled Powerpoint presentations - we have selected two winners to receive the coveted Reg lapel pin.

Dave Oldcorn caught our eye with his Japanese haiku:

Register Logo,
Red Stripe, True Missive,
Vulture Circling Round.

That wouldn't be Red Stripe the well-known Jamaican lager, would it Dave? Gram Ludlow found that he needed more syllables to do the job:

In today's world of media blitzkrieg and instant entertainment, one quality separates the winners from the losers. Determination. That is why The Register stands firmly behind its powerful emblem day by day. The intense stare of those solemn eyes inspires its tireless workers to seek out the naked truth. The white vulture on the black background reminds us all how purity in these dark times is vital to sustaining our personal energies and excelling in achieving our personal and corporate goals. Yes, The Register soars above the raging waters of the internet, seeking out the truth like the proud vulture surveying its territory. This symbol, this shield, this inspiring icon embodies in total The Register's goal to seize the news and present it to the thirsty world the way it is needed, in brutal black and white.

Marvellous. There are three other entries which demand respect. Let Anna Shefl take you on a little tour:

Allow us to walk you through the logo. We begin with the red field on which the masthead stands. The shade of red we have chosen, 'pure red' ('red' in Binney-Smith nomenclature), is bold, unsoftened and uncompromised by blues or oranges. We did not want a logo which would appeal only to the 'brick red' demographic, so we chose instead to bring to mind another classic: the white-on-red packaging of caffeinated beverages which might emerge from vending machines near hackers everywhere. And, at a practical level which is sure to appeal to the no-nonsense attitude of the reader, it is a colour which is supported by most graphical browsers.

Note the modern yet unpretentious font whose angle implies italics without being pretentious, an angle which quietly says that you are erudite. This subtle statement of intelligence is echoed in other elements of the design, as we shall see later on our tour.

We now step into the time-honoured circle, a more uncluttered shape than most of those currently crowding the IT field. Here we make the statement, 'We don't need to compete with companies with frilly-edged logos'. You may not have been the first on the Internet, but you exude simple old-world taste. The circle also signifies completeness; the reader need never go to any other Web site than yours. The notion that you tell the whole story is strengthened through the evocation of the image of a wedding (or 'promise') ring.

We turn your attention now to the image within the circle. The beak's jaunty angle conveys that quirky Britishness of which many online are so fond. It is a bold angle which also conveys the authority of the aquiline Roman nose, an idea further strengthened by a subtly phallic nature. The contrasting sexy curves are similarly bold. Advertising revenues repeatedly smile on such broad and confident waves.

The intelligence of 'The Register' is conveyed in the piercing gaze of the eye we see here. We also see the intelligence hinted at by the slightly exaggerated shape of the skull. You are clever but are not geeks who revel in overt images of brains or computers.

Stepping back to an overall view of the logo, we point out that the phrase 'The Register' itself takes pride of place. The reader is assured that content is the important thing with you. While you recognise the value of a unified image, you are a site which deals in words rather more than pictures.

Very good. Oli Brown is also no stranger to the dark world of PR-speak:

In designing our logo, the register felt it necessary to convey the direct and clear sense of purpose to the site, and after extensive consultation with several leading Feng Shui consultants and Web Space aura stylists we have decided to incorporate the deep sensually reactive colour of red with the calm and neutral air of white. The inclusion of a drop shadow shows the multi-dimensional aspects to many of the news stories covered and the way in which our tireless reporters reveal all that is behind them. It is almost like a sea of confused red-ness, which is then clearly and concisely parted by the very existence of the register.

The matter of a suitable creature to represent the register was intensively reviewed with our website organism integration experts. Our design criteria was to have a creature that would demonstrate the unmoving moral and factual excellence of our site. Surveys conducted by the university of Brixton in collaboration with many leading experts in the field demonstrated the vulture as being the most suitable creature for this purpose.

The eye of the vulture looks attentively down, watching over the contents of the site, certifying the quality of all aspects of our work. The white vulture, mingled with the black circular backing represents the ying and yang of facts and humour that so concisely shows the true meaning of the what we are.

And finally we have Paul Angileri. Paul is the first man ever to get the word 'doily' on to the Register:

We here at The Register have developed a new logo that we feel represents the undying spirit within each reporting spirit on or staff. This logo will provide the torch for this storied organization's future in the public eye.

(Marketing hack proceeds to remove black silken doily from a tripod stand next to the press podium)

As you can see from this representation, the new Register Vulture represents the flame born inside each of our reporters to find the best stories, and report them as accurately and as future-savvy as possible, so as to provide our learned readership with the professional coverage and expert analysis they have come to expect. We also feel that this particular bird of prey is a proper conveyance of the message we intend to send to this industry, and that message is one of vigilance for the common IT man/woman, and hero's stance to provide only the best reporting for the common people.

The red hue is was chosen as a means of grabbing the reader's attention, and focusing it on the real of the story. This red, combined with the black complimentary color, provides a sense that what you are reading hasn't been tampered with or has been given the "Hollywood" touch, and that you are being given the cold hard facts. The Register is not about sensationalism, but about realism.

Commenting on the ovular porthole from which the Vulture peers, the porthole represents an elemental form common in the modern day's design principals, and also serves to provide a sense of being an "unseen and watchful" eye on the IT industry.

Lastly, the font chosen to represent The Register was agreed upon because it is simple in form, and uncompromising in its rigidity. It portrays balance, a solid foundation, and its italicized countenance tells you we are here to get you the story in as timely a fashion as is professionally possible.

Oh, alright then, El Reg pins for the lot of 'em. Who are we to select the best from such a class collection of complete nonsense? Well done to you all.

The LogoWatch archive

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